Tag Archives: Friends To Lovers

Time Out

By Jill Shalvis

Synopsis

NHL coach Mark Diego’s plan to spend his offseason volunteering in his hometown goes awry when he learns that not only is he coaching teenage girls, but that the program is coordinated by energetic (and five feet two inches of trouble) coordinator Rainey Saunders, his childhood friend—and the woman he could never stand to see dating any other guy…

When their tempers flare, Mark and Rainey discover their fireworks don’t just burn angry— they burn very, very hot! But that’ll just sweeten the victory. Because Mark always plays to win. And with Rainey, he’s planning on playing very dirty, too…

Review

Sadly, TIME OUT was a DNF for me.  I don’t like starting a book and not finishing it, but I found I just couldn’t continue on after chapter seven.  I tried to get into it, but I wasn’t feeling the characters, their chemistry or their story.  Despite that, I would try reading from this author again.

Time Out

My Rating:  

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Close To Heaven (Colorado High Country # 5)

By Pamela Clare

Synopsis

She has nothing…

Rain Minear has fantasized about finding herself in Joe Moffat’s arms for years. It’s just her luck that the night it finally happens, he’s carrying her into the emergency room. It’s Joe who steps up to help her when a tragedy brings her life crashing down. He gives her a place to stay, helps her get back on her feet, and even tries to save her Christmas, though he’s never cared for the holiday. But he’s far too ethical to sleep with a member of his staff, holding her at arms length despite the long-simmering attraction between them.

He has everything…

Haunted by ghosts from the past, Joe Moffat moved to Scarlet Springs to repay a debt. He’s struggled for years to keep his hands off Rain. She’s the general manager of his brewpub, and he is not that kind of boss. But, oh, she turns him on. More than that, she has the biggest heart of any woman he’s ever known. He’d do anything to see her smile again, even put up a Christmas tree and listen to carols, things he normally never does.

A season that changes two lives forever…

When a Rocky Mountain blizzard leaves them snowbound and alone together for days, they can no longer ignore their feelings for one another. As their passion turns to something deeper, it becomes clear to them both that this will be the most important Christmas of their lives.

Review

Luckily, the author didn’t mention in the blurb exactly how long Joe and Rain had secretly been in love with each other, because if she had, I probably wouldn’t have read it.  Why?  Because I’d just finished reading another book where the main characters were secretly in love with each other for twenty years, and it left me very frustrated.  Thankfully, and despite that similarity, CLOSE TO HEAVEN was a nice, easy and enjoyable read.

I liked Joe, who moved to Scarlet Springs two decades ago to try and pay back the town for his great-great-grandfather’s misdeeds.  He’s a very wealthy man, but he’s down-to-earth and he doesn’t act like he’s better than everyone else just because of his money.  The only thing that bothered me was his main reason for not pursuing Rain.  There’s a big difference between using your position of power to take advantage of women in your employ, and taking what is being freely offered by a woman in her thirties.  

I liked Rain, who’s been working for Joe since she became a single mother at seventeen.  She’s been in love with him since almost the beginning, but she never made a move because she was afraid of being rejected.  What I liked most about her is that she truly did not care that Joe was rich, and that she finally got the courage to put herself out there in her attempts to gain Joe’s attention.

An interesting part of the story was the reading Silas’ journals, where we learnt how despicable Joe’s great-great-grandather truly was, as well as the history of the town and its descendants, who still live there to this day.  You’ll be surprised by how much hate you’ll feel for a man who’s been dead for a century.

CLOSE TO HOME is told in dual POVs and while it’s part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone.  It comes with a beautiful HEA for Joe and Rain, and is a nice addition to the Colorado High Country series.

Close To Heaven (Colorado High Country # 5)

My Rating:  

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Colorado High Country Series

Wish You Were Mine

By Tara Sivec

Synopsis

Five years. I would’ve stayed away longer if I hadn’t received the letter. Not a day has gone by that I haven’t thought about her, haven’t missed her smile, haven’t wished that things were different.

The last time I saw my two best friends, I vowed to not stand in the way of their happiness, even if that meant I couldn’t be a part of their lives. Cameron James and her emerald-green eyes were too much of a temptation and I couldn’t stay and watch them together. Cameron deserved better than me. She deserved him.

But now that I am back, things are different. I’m not going to stand by and watch the woman I’ve always loved slip away again. I’m done living my life with regrets and I’m ready to tell her the truth. And I’ll do whatever it takes to show her that I always wished she was mine.

Review

I’m sad to say that I really struggled getting through WISH YOU WERE MINE.  I found myself wanting to give it up several times, but I’ve read and liked this author before, so I kept going. Unfortunately, by the time I got to the end, my feelings towards this book did not improve.

WISH YOU WERE MINE is the story of Everett and Cameron, who have been in love with each other for about twenty years, but neither have had the courage to confess their feelings.  Their inability to be open and honest with each other takes up the first 75% of the story, which I found very frustrating.  What was more frustrating was that when they finally did get together, it did not bring about an end to the drama.  In the final 25%, their relationship is endangered two times, which I won’t go into because of spoilers.  Ultimately, it was just too much drama for me to take to get to the happy ending.

I also didn’t like that Cameron and her best friend called almost every other woman in this story a skank.  Worse, Cameron thought Aiden’s manwhore ways were a part of his charm, yet the women who slept with him were all skanks.  It’s a derogatory word that was used too easily and frequently throughout the story, and it’s hard to like a character who speaks about her fellow women that way.

WISH YOU WERE MINE is a friends-to-lovers stand-alone that comes with a HEA for Everett and Cameron.  It is told in dual POVs and also includes flashbacks.  In fact, the first half of the story is told in a mixture of the past and the present, and this did affect the flow of the story a little bit.  However, the flashbacks into the past were informative and showed the times that Everett and Cameron had missed their chance to say something to the other.

Wish You Were Mine

My Rating: 

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Wicked Envy (Wicked Horse Vegas # 3)

By Sawyer Bennett

Synopsis

The best of friends.
Two men. One woman.
A sinful playground called The Wicked Horse.

Entrepreneur turned millionaire, Dane Hawthorne, has been known to get his kicks at The Wicked Horse Vegas, and he has no shortage of beautiful women waiting for a shot at him. Driven to succeed, no matter if he’s in the boardroom or the bedroom, Dane never backs down from a challenge.

Avril Carrigan isn’t the type of woman to take risks in her personal life but after a broken heart and too much liquid courage, Avril decides to best way to get over one man, is to get under another. Looking to experience all the debauchery she’s heard about from her best friend and business partner, Dane, she requests one thing of him—take her to The Wicked Horse.

The request seems simple. One friend helping another in her time of need. But now that they’ve crossed the threshold, things aren’t as easy as they once seemed. Not only is Dane looking at Avril in a new light, but so is their other business partner and best friend, Andrew Collings. As Dane’s envy blooms, he wonders if he made the right decision when he agreed to show Avril his wicked world.

What happens when the lines of friendship are blurred and boundaries are crossed? Will their relationships survive or will jealousy tear them all apart?

Review

I’m just going to come right out and say it: I couldn’t really get into WICKED ENVY.

I love a good threesome as much as the next girl, and the sex between Avril, Dane and Andrew was some of the hottest sex I’ve read in a long time.  As in it’ll give you tingles and make you want to reach for your husband/boyfriend/B.O.B. hot.  That being said, I did find it a little unbelievable that Avril’s first time trying anal was during a DP and that she was able to handle it like a pro.

What I couldn’t get my head around, and what ultimately affected my enjoyment of this story, was the sudden sexual relationship between Avril, Dane and Andrew after seventeen years of friendship.  Why?  Because in all that time, they’d never really had any sexual thoughts about one another, nor had any of them been secretly in love with one of the others, but one day they all just decide to start sleeping together.  All the while promising that it wouldn’t affect their friendship, while at the same time believing that their bond (a word that was overused throughout this book) would be even stronger because of the sex-without-emotions they were now sharing.  It was just so out of the blue and I wasn’t feeling it at all.

WICKED ENVY is told in the POV of all three friends and does come with a HEA, though it wasn’t the ending I was expecting.  I blame myself for that, because if I’d taken a better look at the cover and synopsis, I would have known in advance how this was going to end.  WICKED ENVY is the third book in the Wicked Horse Vegas series, but it can be read as a stand-alone without any problem at all.  While I may not have enjoyed this story as much as the others, that’s not going to stop me from reading the next book in the series.

Wicked Envy (Wicked Horse Vegas # 3)

My Rating:  

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Wicked Horse Vegas Series

The Cinderella Fantasy (Playing The Princess # 1)

By Sara Jane Stone

Synopsis

A princess who has lost her faith in love . . .

Lucy Linden’s prince charming (a.k.a. her fiancé) disappeared three months before the Big Day. Determined to pick up the pieces, she dives into the world of online dating. But the only men interested in a woman whose day job involves playing Cinderella leave Lucy looking for an exit strategy before the main course. And the man rushing to her rescue isn’t the solution to her problems. Jared is a walking, talking fantasy—if Lucy’s daydreams began and ended in the bedroom. No one would ever mistake South Florida’s bored billionaire bachelor for a long-term prince.

A man willing to risk everything to prove he’s her prince . . .

Jared Mitchell pushes the limits, in the boardroom and in bed. When his best friend and business partner’s little sister sends up red distress flares, he’s thrust into the role of pseudo-big brother. He’s never had a thing for Cinderella. But now he’s fighting his desire to make the princess his—even if he has to risk his empire to deliver her happy-ever-after ending.

Review

I picked up THE CINDERELLA FANTASY because I was after a quick and lighthearted read, and that’s exactly what I got.  I liked it enough, but after I finish this review, I will probably never think about it again.

My biggest dislikes were the excessive number of fairytale/fireworks/magic references made throughout the story, and that the ending comes up on you really fast.

My biggest likes were that Jared was upfront with Lucy’s brother about his feelings for her, and her brother was supportive of their relationship.  Usually these relationships are kept hidden from the brother and it never ends well, so it was refreshing to see it play out this way and that everyone could be a grown up about it.

THE CINDERELLA FANTASY is told in dual POVs and comes with a happy ending for Jared and Lucy.  It appears to be the beginning of a new series, one that sounds like it will follow Lucy and her two princess-playing best friends as they find love.  If you like sibling’s-best-friend romances and novellas, THE CINDERELLA FANTASY will be right up your alley.

The Cinderella Fantasy (Playing The Princess # 1)

My Rating:  

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Nineteen Letters

By Jodi Perry

Synopsis

What would you do if the love of your life had no memory of you?

The 19th of January, 1996 … I’ll never forget it. It was the day we met. I was seven and she was six. It was the day she moved in next door, and the same day I developed my first crush on a girl.

Then tragedy struck. Nineteen days after our wedding day, she was in an accident that would change our lives forever. When she woke from her coma, she had no memory of me, of us, of the love we shared.

That’s when I started writing her letters.The stories of our life. Of when we met. About the happier times, and everything we’d experienced together.

What we had was far too beautiful to be forgotten.

Review

NINETEEN LETTERS is a beautiful story about learning to live and love again after everything that makes you “you” has been lost.

I may have lost my past, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a wonderful future.  I have the power to not only reinvent myself, but to write my own ending.

I loved Braxton, who could very well be the sweetest book husband I’ve ever read.  He was kind and patient, and he did a great job of getting Jemma to fall in love with him again.  His letters and gifts to her were beautiful and sweet, and I loved being able to see their entire relationship through his eyes, from the first day they met as children until the day of the accident.

When the accident happened, I worried she would never wake up, and I would lose her.  Not once did I contemplate the possibility that she would wake up and I would lose her anyway.

NINETEEN LETTERS is a stand-alone told in dual POVs and comes with a nice HEA for Braxton and Jemma.

Nineteen Letters

My Rating:  

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Wicked Wish (Wicked Horse Vegas # 2)

By Sawyer Bennett

Synopsis

Jorinda Pearce thought she did everything right – graduated from college, married her long-time sweetheart, established a career. But what does she have to show for it now? A degree she doesn’t use, a job she hates, and an ex-husband that broke her heart.

Looking for a long overdue adventure, Jorie takes a walk on the wild side and attends a masquerade event at The Wicked Horse Vegas. It’s exactly the escape she’s looking for, and even better, she can explore anonymously. Drawn to the man masked in black leather with the body of a god, Jorie finds the greatest pleasures of her life at the hands of a stranger.

Walsh Brooks is the most sought after man in The Wicked Horse. Sex is nothing but a game to him and he’s the type that will always leave at the end of the night without looking back. Unfortunately for Walsh, there’s no way he can walk away from the mysterious green-eyed beauty behind the mask of sapphire feathers, because he knows exactly who she is.

Jorie is his best friend’s little sister and there’s not another woman in the world that’s more off limits.

Review

WICKED WISH is the second book in the Wicked Horse Vegas series and it was another hot and enjoyable read that was very hard to put down.  It’s a rare find when the sex and the story are as good as each other, and WICKED WISH wins on both counts.

I loved Jorie right from the start, and she’s definitely the stand-out character in my opinion.  She may get knocked down, but she doesn’t stay down for long.  Her husband blamed her for their dull sex-life, so what better way to prove to herself that she has what it takes to please a man than by going to a sex club and getting it on with a hot stranger in front of dozens of people.  Yowza!  She lost a lot of her confidence because of her husband’s words, but it wasn’t just Walsh that gave it back to her; she had the courage to get it back for herself, and I really liked that about her.

Walsh was definitely stuck between a rock (his desire for Jorie) and a hard place (his friendship with Jorie’s brother, Micah), and you can’t help but feel bad for a man who wants it all, but doesn’t know how he can have it without hurting one of the two people he loves.  Given Walsh’s claims that he’s very demanding and rough when it comes to sex—going so far as to say he can leave a woman sore and bruised—I was expecting an intense read when it came to his sex scenes.  So I won’t lie when I say I was a little disappointed that we never saw that side of him.  Was he hot and demanding?  Most definitely.  Was he rough and dirty?  Not really.

As with most, if not all, best friend’s sibling romances, the conflict that tears them apart is predictable just from reading the blurb, so there’s no surprises there.  However, what I liked most about the conflict was its resolution; it wasn’t resolved after a measly five minute apology and was therefore realistic and believable.

WICKED WISH is told in dual POVs and while it’s part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone.  I want to point out that Walsh and Jorie don’t spend much time at the Wicked Horse, and while that certainly isn’t a big deal, it was something that really stood out to me.  So, if you’re expecting to see a lot of debauchery taking place in a sex club, you might be disappointed.  That being said, WICKED WISH does come with the hottest HEA I’ve ever read.  Seriously, the hottest.  I can’t wait for the next book, WICKED ENVY, to come out.  A threesome with two men and one woman?  Sign me up.

Wicked Wish (Wicked Horse Vegas # 2)

My Rating:  

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Wicked Horse Vegas Series

Recluse (Spider Series # 1)

By Jaycee Ford

Synopsis

You were my brother in the line of duty.
My partner.
My best friend.
You were the man who had it all.
Your thoroughness and precision made you a great cop.
It’s what got you killed.
And now I live with the darkening shadows of your memory.
You weren’t here when I needed you to save me.
You weren’t here when I needed help solving the most gruesome murder this town had ever seen.
But most of all, you weren’t here to keep me from falling in love with your wife.

Review

RECLUSE is the first book I’ve read from Jaycee Ford, and despite what I’m about to say below, I didn’t hate it.  Honestly, I didn’t.

The first thing I need to point out is that RECLUSE ends in a cliffhanger, which was frustrating because the blurb makes no mention that it will end that way or that the murder will remain unsolved and continue on.  Without any information at this time, I can only assume that the murder mystery will continue to be the focal point throughout this series until the final book, and at this stage I have no idea how many books that will be.

I don’t have much to say about Wyatt or Grace, because the story as a whole is fairly short and only half of it focuses on them and their changing relationship, so you don’t learn a lot about them.  What you do learn is that Wyatt has spent the past several years filled with guilt lusting over his best friend’s wife, but a year on from his death, he comes to the realisation that his feelings for Grace aren’t going to go away, so he stops hiding them from her.  Grace was a little skittish, but overall, she handled moving on to a new relationship very well.

The other half of the story focuses on the murder investigation, while at the same time introducing us to all the secondary characters.  I had a lot of trouble keeping track of who everyone was, because sometimes a character would be called by their first name, but then they’d be called by their last name, which meant there were too many names to remember.  I also struggled with the love-triangle situation everyone seemed to be in.  Boy A wants Girl A, but is sleeping with Girl B, who really wants Boy B, while Boy C wants to sleep with Girl B, but really wants Girl C, and so-on and so-forth.  It was all very confusing.

RECLUSE held my attention and was a fairly quick read, told only in Wyatt’s POV.  With the exception of the prologue, the story takes place over a six day period.  Judging by the ongoing murder mystery, the books in this series will need to be read in order.  At this stage, I’m assuming each book will be about a different couple, but I’m honestly not sure given how this book ended for Wyatt and Grace.  There was no epilogue and I felt their relationship was not completely settled.  That being said, one could consider what happened between them at the end as a form of closure to their story, but I guess we’ll have to wait for the next book’s blurb to come out to know for sure.  Will I continue with this series?  I think so, but if I do, I’ll be waiting until the entire series has been released.

Recluse (Spider Series # 1)

My Rating:  

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Battle Of The Sexes

By Adriana Locke

Synopsis

Carver Jones’ partner at Jones + Gallum had to step down for medical reasons. He’s absolutely devastated. He swears. Just ignore his cheeky grin, okay?

When word reaches his fancy corner office that Gallum is replacing himself with his daughter, Amity, Carver is ecstatic. 

For real this time. 

Jones squashes men in the business industry flat. A woman? Pfst. He’ll be completely in charge in no time, doing whatever he wants. He’s so ready for this. 

But is he ready to fight the hardest fight of his life? No, not the one to maintain control of his company. The one to keep control of his heart.

The battle may begin in the boardroom, but the war will definitely be won in the bedroom. May the best sex win.

Review

BATTLE OF THE SEXES was a quick and lighthearted read about two ex-childhood friends, thrown back into each others lives and forced to compete for the same CEO position in their families business.

It took me a while to warm up to Carver, mostly because the sexual innuendos he laid on Amity at the beginning were laid on way too thick.  Can you say “Sexual Harrassment”?  That being said, he has very fond memories of Amity and you could tell that despite a few idiotic choices, he genuinely liked her…then and now.  I liked Amity’s tenacity and that she gave as good as she got from Carver.  I also liked how she had to guts to tell Carver exactly how that one night all those years ago affected her, and still affects her to this day.  Don’t worry, she’s not a “woe is me/I’ve never been able to love” person; she’s too strong for that.

Overall, I enjoyed this story, though I will say that I was disappointed with how the battle for the CEO role was won.  Yes, it was sweet and I could understand the reason behind it, but I was disappointed nonetheless.  BATTLE OF THE SEXES is told in dual POVs and at this time, it appears to be a stand-alone.  It’s also a novella, so it’s a fairly quick read.  From memory, we see a bit of foreplay but no sex, so if you’re looking for a read that’s steamy, you won’t find it here.  But if you’re after an ex-friends-to-lovers story with witty banter and a HEA, this one is for you.

Battle Of The Sexes

My Rating:  

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Wasted Words

By Staci Hart

Synopsis

Some universal truths refuse to be ignored.

Peanut butter and jelly are a match made in heaven. Spaghetti and meatballs are best friends forever. And guys like Tyler Knight don’t go for girls like Cam Emerson.

She knew from the second she met him that he didn’t belong on her bookshelf, the six-foot-six ex-tight end with a face so all-American, it could have sold apple pie. So she shelved him next to the supermodels and rock stars and took her place on her own shelf — the one with the flannel-clad, pasty-faced comic book nerds. Most of her boyfriends have existed between the pages of books, but rather than worrying over her own lacking love life, she puts all her energy into playing Cupid, using her job at the book bar, Wasted Words, as her stomping ground.

Tyler Knight always looks on the bright side. His career-ending injury turned into a job as a sports agent. A horrible breakup led him to Cam, his quirky, smart roommate who is far more beautiful than she realizes. She’s made it perfectly clear she’s not interested in him — not like that at least — but if she ever changes her mind, he won’t hesitate. Because he doesn’t see the lines she’s drawn between them, as much as she insists that they’re there. Deep down he knows that despite their differences, they’re a match well made.

Review

WASTED WORDS is the first book I’ve read from Staci Hart, and I’m sad to say that I didn’t enjoy it like I hoped I would.  Which is a shame, because the blurb sounded like something I’d really be into: Hot Jock (Tyler) falls in love with Geeky Girl (Cam) who doesn’t know how beautiful she really is.

While I liked Tyler a lot, I found Cam completely unlikeable and it was her behaviour that proved too much to overcome.  She was supposed to be smart and funny, but I found her to be childish, too insecure and downright bitchy when something didn’t go her way.  She thought she knew what was best for everyone, so when they threw a wrench in her plans, she threw a tantrum.  Literally.

Unfortunately, my issues with WASTED WORDS didn’t end with Cam.  It was a slow moving book that became a struggle for me to finish, so much so that I ended up skipping sections without feeling like I missed anything important.  I noticed some thoughts and comments were repeated, as well as several spelling mistakes and missing words throughout.

WASTED WORDS is told in dual POVs and comes with a HFN ending for Tyler and Cam.  It does appear to be a stand-alone, but I know at least one other couple have had a book written about them.

Wasted Words

My Rating:  

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